Bambinelli Sunday is a beautiful tradition that was started by Pope St. John Paul II. Bambinelli is Italian, the plural of bambinello which means "little baby [boy]." Bambinelli Sunday is celebrated on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent. Thousands of people come to St. Peter's Square bringing the Baby Jesus figurines from their creches and nativity scenes; then, at the time of the Pope's Angelus address, he blesses all the little figures of the Child Jesus. Familes also traditionally spend their Advent season making small sacrifices or doing good deeds for the Child Jesus, represented by adding a piece of straw to His manger for each good deed performed. When Christmas day arrives, the Baby Jesus is placed in the empty creche made comfortable by these acts of charity.
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